The Eucharist

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by ingrowntoenail
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
Religious Studies
Grade:
12

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The Eucharist

There are several recounts and mentions of what is known today as the Last Supper within the Catholic bible - seen in the Letters of Paul, the Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles. Each of these offers different insight in to the meanings behind the Eucharist, and the teachings that can be taken from it. The Eucharist has it’s origins in Jewish roots and traditions, and the Last Supper was a Seder meal, during which Jesus initiated the Eucharist.On the night before his death, Jesus sat down for a meal with his Apostles in Jerusalem. During the meal, there was talk of gratitude for their freedom, and thankfulness to God. The unleavened bread was broken, and thanks was given to God, before Jesus shared it around to the Apostles - the bread becoming His body. The wine, symbolising the blood of the lamb at Passover, is blessed, and thanks was given to God, before the cup was shared between all the Apostles, the wine becoming His blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant.It was during this Supper that Judas left, and betrayed Jesus to the officials. The next day, Jesus died on the cross — a sacrifice premeditated by his words at the Last Supper, for his body was “given up” and his blood “poured out”, for the salvation of God’s people. The meal shared by Jesus and the Apostles came to be known as the Last Supper, and was where the Eucharist was initiated.

History of The Eucharist

by Jessica Ingram

The Eucharist

TRANSUBSTANTIATIONnoun / ˌtransəbstanʃɪ the conversion of the Eucharistic elements of bread and wine in to the body and blood of Christ at consecration.

There are 4 main elements to the tradition of the Eucharistic celebration that is held at every mass, as listed to the left. The unleavened bread and the wine are a main element of the Eucharistic celebration, which are consecrated by the priest. The words of Jesus at the Last Supper are repeated, and several other proclaimations and thanks to God are heard. Then, the congregreation all comes together to share in the body and blood of Christ - and become united as one body in the Eucharist. Several symbols are involved in the Eucharistic celebration. These are listed below.

BREAD & WHEATThe unleavened bread that is broken becomes the body and flesh of Christ.The wheat symbolises how although it was grown by man's hand, it becomes Christ through the Eucharist.

CANDLESThe flame of the lit candles symbolise Jesus, as fire is a symbol of life. The candles remind us of Jesus' presence in our lives, and within us, and the hope for eternal life.

WINE & GRAPESThe wine that is shared by the congregation from the same chalice becomes the blood of Christ. The grapes, of the vine, symbolises how the Church is one family, stemming from the vine that is Jesus Christ.

CHRIST'S TEACHINGSChrist stated that “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him”, therefore stating that those who partake in the Eucharist will enter a deep union with Christ himself. Christ taught that, through consecration of the gifts, the bread will be a literal representation of his body, and the wine a literal representation of his blood. He is fully present in soul, body, blood and divinity. Christ taught that by receiving his body, the life of God within the person receiving it will be nourished and strengthened.

THE EUCHARIST AS A SACRAMENTThe Eucharist, also known as Holy Communion, is one of the most important and central sacraments to Catholic life. It is traditionally the third sacrament completed, after Baptism and Reconciliation. As a sacrament, the Eucharist is to be taken on a regular basis to ensure continual nourishment and strengthening. Therefore, it is received at every celebration of mass. It completes all other sacraments, and binds them in participation, as all other sacraments are oriented towards the Eucharist. Through receiving the sacrament of Eucharist, we anticipate the coming of eternal life.

Through the Eucharist, the life and influence of Christ is nourished and strengthened within Catholics. It is considered the ‘source and summit’ of Christian life. It is through celebrating the Eucharist that Catholics are able to receive the spiritual strengthening and guidance that comes with receiving Christ within us. The Eucharist leads to a deeper sense of belonging and union with the Church and Christ, and therefore leads to a reflection of Christ’s teachings in a Catholic’s daily life. As described in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turns conforms our way of thinking”. The gifts received from the Eucharist influence Catholic’s thoughts, words and actions, in an attempt to live the lives God intended us to. Through celebrating the Eucharist, we give thanks and worship God and the sacrifices made by Jesus for our salvation.

Eucharistic Celebration

The value of the Eucharist in the lives of Catholics


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